Check out the link below. http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?cspkr&1161958676&openfrom&1&4#1
I have only briefly listened to the Extremas and these are rather huge and heavy bookshelves that can be tri-wired. The Extremas are very difficult to set up as well and I'm not too sure if your Mcintosh 352 would be up to the task.
Personally I would pick the Guarneri Homage over the Extremas if given a choice. You can contact Daveyf as he has the Guarneri Homage in his system.
It "is" the GH for me.
What aspects of recorded music do you like the most?
Properly set up and with the proper electronics, the SF Extremas are capanble of producing world class sound.
Extremas. I was told by one Sonus Faber rep at CEDIA that the Extrema would probably be re-released. I'm not sure your amp will work well with the Extremas either though.
Thanks for the responses but the question now is what amp for the extremes?
When I owned the Extremas I used ML 20.6 mono amps. The Extrema's like current!!
I had Extremas at one point (they replaced Avalon Eclipse). I had a failure of the the bass driver on one of the speakers. Easy enough to replace and Sumiko was very responsive, however, it was incredulous to see that SF used plain old wood screws for driver mounting. The quality (or lack thereof) of the parts inside was also eye opening. I loved the cabinet but it seeemed there was so much more that could be done to improve that design.
long ago i heard the sf extremas at an audio show for the 1st time. while not the greatest room, wires, etc. (plus the fact that i couldn't afford them), i set my future goal THAT DAY on trying to get a pair. i was so emotionally moved by the beautiful sound they made i had a hard time getting up to go listen to another system.
And still you're puzzled by the heat sink. Then you notice below the 'Extrema' legend to the right of it a little logo which looks like an electronic component, bearing the words SINE CAPPAT. And it all ties in to the crossover which is, like the outrageous styling and the dial-in damping, another novel -- not novelty -- feature.
The crossover of the Extrema bears no capacitors. I phoned MC -- the man you want on your team if Trivial Pursuit ever adds a category called 'the History of Loudspeakers' -- and he told me that (1) to the best of his knowledge this is the first time a capacitor-free crossover has been used in a commercially available dynamic speaker and that (2) it's a pretty nifty idea but not without its disadvantages. Sonus Faber is frank about the latter, dealing with the need to dissipate whole watts of wasted power through the fitting of the heat sink. To quote Sonus Faber, 'The fact that the amplifier is forced to deliver higher power on a prevalently resistive load of lower modulus cannot be considered a disadvantage for a correctly designed amplifier.'
The assumption is that this product, gaining in transparency by eliminating a key component from the crossover, will be driven by the kind of amplifiers which won't be affected if some of their wattage is wasted. And -- I may as well shock you now -- at ú6490 per pair, the Extrema is unlikely to be mated to amplifiers short of grunt.
SINE CAPPAT is a first-order parallel rather than series filter. By completely eliminating a whole component, it allows the tweeter to deliver greater transient response and 'snap' as well as higher transparency. As the tweeter's level still has to be attenuated relative to the woofer, due to the former's higher sensitivity, an inductor is fitted parallel to the tweeter.
But the use of such a technique places extra demands on the amplifiers, which explains why the nominal 4 ohm impedance and sensitivity of 88dB/1W/1m meant little in practice. The losses were such that some frighteningly robust amplifiers were driven into clipping, amplifiers which I would have wagered could drive the Extrema. It was a shame, for example, to disconnect the gorgeous Marantz MA-24 Class-A monoblocks which made such sweet music with the Extremas at low-to-normal levels. Along would come some crescendo, and blaaat!, the poor babies clipped with a sound like the exhaust of a pre-war Alfa. And I'm not even certain if the extra 3dB provided by running two pairs would have made much difference.
This thread cracks me up...we have the OP deciding on a pair of speakers without seemingly hearing them and how they interact with his current gear and room. We have Rwwear posting how inefficient the Extrema's are...which in my experience is very true! Then in a recent thread on another forum, we had another member trying GH's and Extremas with a low powered SE amp. Wherein, when said amp failed to work well with these speakers, he decides its the speakers fault and buys something entirely different. Folks, the GH's and the Extrema's are two VERY different speakers! Depending on your ancillary equipment and taste, they will either work for you or they won't.
But without an in-home trial...or at least the ability to hear both speakers for yourself, all else is just meaningless, IMHO..:0)
I concur with Daveyf that a home trial is the best way forward, or at least try to listen to both speakers if possible. Both options are excellent and a lot of factors as mentioned earlier(associated equipment, room, listening preference) will come into play when deciding which one is more suitable.
To balance out the enthusiasm on the Extrema, here is a short excerpt on the Guarneri Homage on page 4 of Stereophile's review http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/487/
It's rare to find a speaker that's truly balancedwith a tonal, harmonic linearity that extends from the upper bass to the high treble. In this respect, the Guarneri eclipses the other Sonus Faber designs. The bigger models, particularly the Electa Amator and Extrema, will play louder, are more dynamic, and have better, deeper bass; but rarely is a speaker as truthful to its source as the Guarneri.
Well the fun is about to begin as I have both speakers in the house and i'm going to start evaluations. What a pain!
Exciting Mal, let us know.
Mal, please do tell us what you think of the two...However, please remember that the speakers will interact with your up-line gear and that this will, IMO, color the speakers in a way that you may or not like. The Extrema's need a lot of current to shine, the GH's less so, but still need an amp with good stick up front. My main point is the synergy with your other gear and room, is going to be a factor in your opinion of the speakers.
Have the Mc352 amp working with Mcd500 and all connected to xlo cables. Thinking about changing the Mac amp but want to stay with McIntosh, any suggestions?
So how is it? Extrema or Guarneri Homage.
Mal, I personally do not like the match-up of Mac gear and SF, particularly with the GH's or Extrema's. The only possible exception to that is the Mac 275 which, while not IMO a great match to the GH's,is the best of the Mac gear I have heard with these speakers. With the Extrema's the 275's are, again IMHO, not powerful enough to really drive them and so I have no Mac suggestions for those.
I'm a big fan of Mcintosh and like to arrange my system around their components.
Trial period is on hold as I just sold my Mc352. As far as the speakers go they are 2 different animals, the guarneri which I have own for 10 years are very airy, transparent and greta soundstage but no bass what so ever. The extremas have a great soundstage, perfect depth and solid bass but as transparent. I enjoy them both for what they do but am very tempted to stay with the extremas as I love the way they sound with my jazz and do not need any bass reinforcement(perfect pitch and weight). Now I need to replace the amp, leaning towards the 402(5,000.00 new from dealer) or a set of 501 mono used online for about 6,000.00. Some feedback would be appreciated.
Based on the E's rep for needing power, I'd go for the 501's. While only 100 watts more than the 402, I like the idea of monoblocks, each amp having its own power supply.
Eddie, I think what you were trying to say was that the Extrema's have a great soundstage, perfect depth and solid bass but are not as transparent as the GH's. This would be my opinion as well, although I wouldn't say that the GH's have no bass whatsoever...just not a lot:0) Without question, the Extrema's do bass better. OTOH, I would trade bass for the greater transparency and truth to source that the GH's bring to the table.
I'm not sure Mac makes an amp that will get the best out of the Extremas.
I agree with Daveyf if you must stay with Mac. That said, I think you are doing yourself a great disservice by painting yourself into a box with just one manufacturer for an amp. FWIW, a friend of mine had a 402 (as have I) and he replaced it with the 60th commemorative 75's and they easily excelled the 402.
I'd also like to note that my experience with Mac is that it is a bit soft in the bass.
Dave you are right, I meant to say not as transparent than the Guaneris. I will try a newer Mc amp as opposed to the 352 and if that doesnt work out I will just branch out else where.
slowly but surely this whole thing will work itself out, thanks for all the constructive criticism.
Oops, meant to say would NOT trade bass for the greater transparency and truth to source that the GH's bring to the table.
BTW, it is not that difficult to add bass to the GH's if needed. Any good sub would do..:0) OTOH, adding greater transparency to the E's, well that's a different story..:0(
Looks like i'll be auditioning these speakers for a while as I just bought the new McIntosh mc452 and it needs at least a month to break in.
the mcintosh mc452 sounds so much better than the mc352 and it hasn't even broken in yet. :-)
So the verdict is in, the winners are the Extremas. it was a tough decision but the Extremas won out with the width and depth of the soundstage, imaging and bass extension they produce compared to the Guarneri. Now I have a pair of Sonus Faber Guarneri Homages for sale, any takers?
Malwow1, are you still using Mac gear?
BTW, agree with you that the E's produce more bass...don't agree with the soundstage and imaging comment....YMMV
I'm sure the GH's will go to someone who appreciates them..:0)
Enjoy your Extremas Malwow1. I'm glad they worked out for you. At any rate I concur with Daveyf. I've listened to the Extremas and although their bass is exemplary, the imaging and soundstage is not superior to the Guarneri Homage. What the Extremas do best is in throwing a bigger and more enveloping sound which is not to be confused with imaging which deals with spatial location of various instruments in the mix with respect to lateral and depth. FWIW the SF Extremas are warm sounding. I can imagine how it would sould like when matched with the equally warm sounding Mac. I guess you like a syrupy, warm and liquid kind of sound.
As a former Extrema owner i secound what both Ryder and Daveyf say
Both opinions and taste are different. For me though the GH does it